Outer Space, former Yugoslavia, Sudan & other topics - Daily Press Briefing

Preview Language:   English
31-May-2023 00:20:50
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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**Outer Space
Good afternoon, why don’t we start in a place far, far away? Today, the Secretary-General published a policy brief on outer space governance, the seventh in the Our Common Agenda series that is aimed at informing Member States ahead of the Summit of the Future next year.
The brief was released to coincide with today’s start of the session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
In the policy brief, the Secretary-General says we must ensure that effective governance is in place to propel innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). nbsp;The brief also outlines a number of recommendations for Member States and the UN system relating to the sustainability, security and governance of outer space.
**Former Yugoslavia
You may have seen that in a press release earlier today, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals concerning the delivery of the appeal judgment in the case against Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović.
The Secretary-General takes note of this appeal and extends his thoughts to the victims, and survivors and their families who have suffered from the crimes for which both defendants have been found guilty.
The judgment marks the conclusion of the last case relating to core crimes that the Mechanism inherited from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which, as you will recall, was established in 1993 to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.
The Secretary-General commends the judges and staff involved in this case for their unfaltering dedication and hard work since 2003, when the first indictment was filed.
A number of you have been asking me this morning about Sudan and the closed consultation this afternoon, I can confirm that the Secretary-General did, indeed, ask to brief Security Council members on the dramatic situation in Sudan; that will be done in closed consultations this afternoon.
And moving on to the situation on the ground, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 1.2 million people have been displaced inside Sudan as a result of the conflict. nbsp;IOM’s estimates are based on preliminary reports from field teams, while additional reports are likely to emerge as humanitarian access improves.
To help those in need, we and our partners continue to deliver aid wherever and whenever we can.
The World Food Programme (WFP) continued its distributions in Khartoum State, reaching 15,000 people trapped in the Omdurman area with emergency food.
Across the country, WFP has now reached more than 782,000 men, women and children with food and nutrition support over the past four weeks.
The agency is also providing emergency telecommunications services to all of the UN system and the wider humanitarian community in Sudan, where — as you can imagine — basic connectivity remains very much a challenge.
As the UN Population Fund (UNPFA) has started to provide life-saving medicines and reproductive health supplies to maternity hospitals in Wad Medani in Al-Jazirah state. nbsp;Medical teams at this hospital are also providing reproductive health services to women and girls who have fled from the capital, Khartoum.
On Ukraine, our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that hospitals and other health facilities in the country are being hit almost daily. nbsp;They note that these attacks are putting health services at risk for millions of people, particularly those living in the front lines.
Our humanitarian colleagues said that yesterday alone, at least three health facilities in the Donetsk region were reportedly damaged. nbsp;This was on both sides of the front lines; that’s according to authorities on both sides of the humanitarian line. nbsp;As a reminder, the targeting or hitting of health facilities is a violation of international humanitarian law, wherever they may occur.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 15 months ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) has verified more than 1,000 attacks on health facilities in the country, causing 240 deaths and injuries among health workers and patients. nbsp;As a result, up to 50 per cent of health facilities in eastern and southern Ukraine are now not functional.
For this year alone, we and our humanitarian partners have reached nearly 3 million people with emergency health services and medicines and plans to reach 8 million by the end of this year. nbsp;Today, we delivered enough medicine to treat some 2,000 civilians remaining in the community of Preobrazhenka, just 5 kilometres from the frontline of the Zaporizhzhia region.
Today’s convoy was organized by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and also delivered food, clean water, emergency shelter kits and construction and hygiene materials. nbsp;These supplies were provided by the International Organization for Migration, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency), WHO and the NGO (non-governmental organization), World Vision International.
Regarding Cambodia, I wanted to say that the Secretary-General reiterates that inclusive elections, in which a plurality of views and voter choices is represented, are important to engender confidence in the electoral process and underpin the ability of Cambodia’s people to exercise their democratic rights.
As he said during his visit to Cambodia last year, it is vital that civic space be open, for human rights defenders to be protected, and for civil society to play a wider role in society, all of which remain critical in preserving Cambodia’s substantial development gains and consolidation of peace.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the UN to support a peaceful and democratic Cambodia that fully respects the human rights of all its citizens.
Quick update from Myanmar and our response to Cyclone Mocha, not too long ago: nbsp;Two weeks after the cyclone hit, we and our partners have distributed shelter and other relief items to more than 63,000 people and over 230,000 people have received some food assistance.
While humanitarian workers continue to ramp up support where they have authorizations and available stocks, wider access for distributions and approvals for the movement of supplies are urgent. nbsp;Shelter needs continue to be a priority as the monsoon season approaches.
Our humanitarian colleagues also warn that the food reserves for households impacted by the cyclone are dwindling, and communities are facing rising food prices.
**Central African Republic
Quick update from MINUSCA (United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic) and our peacekeepers in the Central African Republic: nbsp;This week, the Mission carried out long-range patrols in the country’s western parts — on the Bouar-Bayanga-Dili and Beloko-Gaudrot axes, as well as actions to clear roads of mines and explosive devices.
Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, where the security situation remains unpredictable, MINUSCA is increasing patrols and aerial reconnaissance, while also providing safe passage to humanitarian workers, enabling them to reach the most vulnerable communities.
Quick update from Cameroon, where the number of people internally displaced has exceeded 2 million, mostly due to climate-related impacts and attacks by non-State groups.
Led by our Resident Coordinator, Matthias Z. Naab, the UN team is supporting the Government to provide emergency assistance and durable solutions for communities hosting vulnerable populations impacted by displacement.
That includes UNHCR and ILO (International Labour Organization) offering training for eco-friendly enterprises and improved access to social protection and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services.
Also, initiatives led by young people having received grants of at least $5,000 each, promoting economic resilience and youth entrepreneurship.
UN-Habitat and UN-Women are bolstering land access for agriculture, also focusing on women, and improving housing conditions for 360 internally displaced people. nbsp;We have more online in our highlights.
**Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Just for the record, you will have seen that last night we issued a statement in which the Secretary-General strongly condemned the military satellite launch conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Any launch using ballistic missile technology is contrary to the relevant Security Council resolutions.
The Secretary-General also reiterates his call on the DPRK to cease such acts and to swiftly resume dialogue to achieve the goal of sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
And we also issued a formal statement last night in which the Secretary-General expressed deep concern about the promulgation of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda.
He called on Uganda to fully respect its international human rights obligations and the respect for personal privacy, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity.
**World No Tobacco Day
Today is World No Tobacco Day, and the theme is “Grow food, not tobacco”.
On this day, the World Health Organization urges Governments to stop subsidizing tobacco farming and support more sustainable crops that could feed millions.
**Press Briefings
Tomorrow, it will be a busy day. nbsp;Our guest at the briefing will be the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Philippe Lazzarini; his agency is better known as UNRWA.
Then at 1 p.m., being 1 June, tomorrow you will have the pleasure to hear from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, who will preside over the Security Council for the month of June.
For further details please see SOURCE below.
Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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